Thanksgiving is just a few days away. For most, it’s a time for family, fun, food and celebration. Unfortunately, for some, Thanksgiving will also mean a trip to the urgent care or ER. Here are some illnesses and injuries seen during the season and tips on how to prevent injuries and kitchen mishaps while preparing this year’s meal.
Some of the most common cuts that send people to the emergency room are from opening cans and slicing open hands with knives.
- Keep your knives and peelers sharp. A dull one can slip. Get your knives professionally sharpened every year if you can. Peelers should be replaced every couple of years.
- Use gloves when you grate. Don’t risk your fingers just to grate that last little bit of cheese.
- Focus on the task at hand. Don’t get distracted when slicing food.
Did you know that Thanksgiving is one of the riskiest days of the year for food poisoning? Food poisoning is most dangerous for pregnant women, small children, older adults, people with chronic diseases (like heart disease or diabetes) and anyone with a weakened immune system. Here are some tips to avoid food poisoning your guests this Thanksgiving:
- Wait to grab that frozen turkey until just before heading to check out and put it in the freezer as soon as you get home. As poultry reaches room temperature, bacteria begin to grow and multiply.
- Never wash the turkey. Washing raw poultry can spread bacteria around kitchen. Water that splashes off the bird can contaminate surfaces up to three feet away!
- Thaw your turkey before cooking, and cook it to at least 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use a thermometer to check that the temperature in the innermost part of the thigh, the wing and thickest part of the breast of the turkey reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Always cook the stuffing separately.
- Wash all vegetables thoroughly. Vegetables like potatoes and carrots can be contaminated with soil bacteria.
- Refrigerate leftovers promptly to avoid bacteria growth.
Burns and fires
With a kitchen packed with family and friends lending a helping hand and food cooking on stovetops, oven and deep fryers, burn accidents are common and can range from minor to severe. Here’s some tips on avoiding burns:
- Always keep young children and pets out of the kitchen while cooking and preparing meals.
- Avoid loose, long-sleeved clothing and dangling jewelry when cooking. Clothing can catch fire and the jewelry can catch on handles, causing spills and burns.
- Always point pot handles toward the back of the stove.
- If you’re frying a turkey, never attempt to deep fry a frozen bird, and fry that bird outside.
- A hand towel is not a replacement for an oven mitt. Wear oven mitts that go past the wrist to protect your hands and arms from spills.
- Keep a fire extinguisher near the stove.
- If you’re not able to extinguish a fire within 30 seconds, it’s time to leave and call 911.
Throwing a football around the backyard is common on Thanksgiving, but games can get a little rough and injuries happen. Here’s how to avoid them:
- Make sure you warm up and stretch!
- Wear clothing that won’t restrict your movement.
- Wear proper footwear to reduce lower body and foot injuries.
- Convince family to play touch football or flag football this year and avoid painful tackles.
We hope that these safety tips will help you and your family have a safe and happy holiday season.
On behalf of Access 365 Urgent Care, Happy Thanksgiving!!
Access 365 Urgent Care is open 7 days a week, including holidays. Access to affordable healthcare when you need it.